War

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is good, but conflicted

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 19th December 2019

    There’s no denying that Star Wars: The Last Jedi created a massive disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in entitled outrage and were suddenly empowered to act like total asshats on Twitter. All Rian Johnson really did was evolve his film beyond the tropes, cliches and traditions that have become the hallmarks of every episode in the saga until that point. Bury the past - or literally burn it down - and move on. Forget the old and make way for the new, otherwise how can there be any progress? After all, "we are," muses Yoda, "what they grow beyond". But if that proved a divisive move, then what JJ Abrams does with this final instalment is equally controversial: ignore that new approach entirely and return to the safe familiarity of the old template. There’s important plot development, of course, but it is housed within a return to the brand adherence and fan service that The Force Awakens originally offered. Skywalker rises, but Episode 9 of 9 simply stays on target.

  • The crushingly inevitable Star Wars group chat email thing: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray, Matthew Looker, Rebecca Suter, Luke Whiston | 28th November 2019

    It’s a year with a 2 in it so you know what that means: it’s time to talk about Star Wars again! With Episode IX of the Skywalker Saga on the horizon, we thought it was the perfect time to engage in the ‘group chat’ style communal analysis that has served us so well in the past (that one guy on Twitter seems to like it, and heck, it’s easier than actually writing a proper feature). Over ten movies we will engage in the kind of witty banter and strict discipline that saw us complete 65% of our Marvel rewatch. Now, let’s... ‘Make it so!’.

  • Review: Terminator: Dark Fate can't bear to suffer an Arnie-less future

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 2nd November 2019

    It's hard out there for the Terminators. You hate to see it. For three whole sequels - Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys - the all-powerful killer robots from the future have suffered embarrassing losses in increasingly shitty movies, to the point where you wonder why they keep trying to enslave us at all. The Terminators, bless their hearts, must have done some serious soul searching, because they're back for more punishment, perhaps inspired by their motto (I am imagining "Absolutely do not stop ever until they are dead" written in "live laugh love" style wall-print cursive) and with a brand new plucky underdog status that it only earned through repeated failure. In a victory of sorts, Dark Fate manages to scrape an above average grade by clinging closely to the Terminator tropes with the kind of white-knuckled death grip that only three failed sequels can inspire.

  • Review: Yesterday: I saw a film today, oh boy

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 30th June 2019

    A common pub argument I have with a friend of mine is that the Beatles weren't as influential as everyone makes out. I tell him there weren't bands before the Beatles; just solo singers and backing groups. I tell him that artists didn't write their own songs before the Beatles. I tell him that the album wasn't an artistic endeavour before the Beatles; just a commercial ruse to package up a hit single or two with some filler and sell them again. He still won't have it. Obviously he is an idiot, but I hope to Christ he never sees Yesterday, because it'll only strengthen his wildly incorrect view. While it does have at its heart the idea that this was the most special collection of songs ever written, it overlooks that what the boys gave us all wasn't just the songs: it was far more than that.

  • Review: Wine Country is a waste of a great ensemble cast

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 17th June 2019

    One thing that fascinates me about film-making is not the how of how movies are made, but the when. We see stars grow in real time these days and very often, once their careers have developed enough, they become producers - meaning the shows and films we watch follow their whims. That explains why we get a glut of movies about having babies, followed by a wave of thirties singleton rom-coms, and these subjects mould the wider zeitgeist. And now we're entering what should be the most interesting phase, where all your favourite stars are burnt out and holding grudges: the mid-life crisis. Fight! Fight! Fight!

  • Review: Rocketman is a Bo Rhap glow-up... but then again, no

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 22nd May 2019

    Put Bohemian Rhapsody out of your head: this jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher is nothing like that jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher. In principle at least, Bo Rhap made sense as a tribute to the mercurial nature of the Queen frontman, a celebration of his musical genius and his tragic legacy. Rocketman, however, is quite different. For starters, Elton John (Tantrums & Tiaras, Kingsman 2, every other fucking episode of the The Graham Norton Show, apparently) is alive and well and executively producing his own vanity biopic. As a celebration of Elton's music, Rocketman delivers a satisfying and foot-stomping soundtrack of wall-to-wall bangers, but as an exploration of the man himself, it lacks any notable dramatic impetus outside of the generic rise, fall and rise template. It's less a movie, more a West End stage musical in search of a worthy hero.

  • 7 things you didn't spot in the first-look photo of the new Terminator film

    Movie Feature | Matt Looker | 1st August 2018

    Whether you want it or not, Untitled Terminator Reboot is on the way. Arnie is back! Because lol. More importantly, James Cameron is back too! Now we just have to wait and see if his producer credit amounts to any more input than that time he tried to convince us all that Terminator: Genisys was a “Renaissance”. His actual word.

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 10th June 2018

    I am a Jurassic Park sequel apologist. I am a Jurassic sequapologist. There’s no shame in loving the original movie, obviously, and I maintain that Jurassic World was an unapologetic, fan-pleasing blockbuster that wanted to reach even farther than Michael Crichton’s visionary thinking. But the sequels? I am at war with myself. The Lost World sort of has some good bits? The birdcage bit in Jurassic Park III was cool, I guess? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, sadly, is a different beast entirely: it is the first Jurassic movie I haven’t enjoyed unreservedly from the get-go. With the other duffers I’d eventually pick up on the flaws after multiple rewatches - this is the only Jurassic Park movie I’ll have to learn to love.

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 24th May 2018

    Four films in four years of this newly rebooted output from a galaxy far, far away, and it’s safe to say that Star Wars fatigue might be setting in for some. While, in that time, there’s been plenty of new reasons to love and embrace and cheer on the franchise, does anyone still get the same goosebump thrill from yet another momentous money-shot moment for the Millennium Falcon? Does anyone still audibly chuckle as loudly as they used to at the mention of an obscure character thrown in the script just because? It’s ok to admit it. We’re all still fans. No one's turning to the Dark Side and there’s no hate or anger here. But is anyone else getting the sense that their enthusiasm for Star Wars is being a little... diluted?

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 12th December 2017

    If I could have had a small, green, wise mentor teach me the ways of online film criticism, he probably would have instilled in me a respect for the balance between objectivity and subjectivity. He would have told me that uninformed criticism is what binds the entire internet and that I should always try to be mindful of hype. But, halfway through my training, I would have still no doubt run off unprepared to face what is easily my greatest weakness: Star Wars.